Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Ignace Jan Paderewski, Antoni Wit, Polish National Symphony Orchestra|
Ignacy Paderewski: Piano Concerto; Polish Fantasy; Overture
Paderewski, the most famous pianist of his time, was also a serious composer who wrote a grand opera and a patriotic symphony. His Piano Concerto is an entertaining work in late-romantic style. It's not exactly a work of g... more »
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Paderewski, the most famous pianist of his time, was also a serious composer who wrote a grand opera and a patriotic symphony. His Piano Concerto is an entertaining work in late-romantic style. It's not exactly a work of genius, but the charismatic, poetic, and virtuosic playing of Janina Fialkowska is enough to put it over the top. Fialkowska, a Canadian-born pianist, has recorded for RCA and CBC, but has never developed a major career. Her playing on this disc shows that she deserves one. The Polish Fantasy is a lot of fun, especially as Fialkowska plays it. The orchestra and conductor give her excellent support, and they also do well with the little-known concert overture. This disc may not be what we consider necessary music, but it provides enough enjoyment to justify its modest price. --Leslie Gerber
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A welcome offering of seldom heard works
F. Behrens | Keene, NH USA | 01/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Trivia question: How many heads of state can you name that also composed music? Nero (if he counts), Henry VIII, Frederick the Great. Any others? Well, what about Ignacy Paderewski, who gave up his concert career to help form a new state for his beloved Poland of which he was then elected President? I confess that, other than his Minuet, I have heard very few of his works (although I did see him star in an ancient film when I was very young). And so I doubly welcomed the new Naxos release of his (8.554020) with soloist Janina Fialkowska and the National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Antoni Wit. Yes, of course one will not help thinking of Chopin's concerti and Polish-based works. I feel that the Paderewski concerto comes out quite well when compared with the earlier ones. The "Fantasy" recalls the similar nationalistic works of Dvorak and again it emerges as a quite enjoyable work, if not exactly a great masterpiece. The "Overture" might remind you of Grieg, which is no bad thing. Although two of these works do exist on competitive recordings, at the Naxos bargain price, this is quite a good choice."
The Best Piano Concerto Ever Written!
Jack D. McNamara | Walnut Creek, CA | 11/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's a rarely heard piece, because most people claim that it is mediocre music. Paderewski's Piano Concerto in A minor is WAY above mediocre. I place it along with Rachmaninov's 2nd and 3rd, and the Rhapsody on a Theme. Paderewski's Piano Concerto in A minor, in my opinion and I know many people will disagree, is my favorite piano concerto, and I think it should be performed more often.
This is an excellent recording of this piano concerto and the other things on the CD are excellent too."
The Paderewski Concerto
Robert Badger | Philadelphia, PA | 11/11/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Paderewski Concerto in A Minor is not one of the more popular concerti these days. It does not figure in regularly on the musical programs of major symphonies. I am not certain that many pianists include it in their repertoires. Thankfully, recording has made it possible for us to hear music that we might not otherwise get to hear. The Paderewski Piano Concerto in A Minor is assuredly not on the same level as the Chopin Concerti, or even the Rachmanninov Concerti. Paderewski was a very good composer, though not a great one. However, he did leave behind a body of delightful music. The Piano Concerto in A Minor is such a work. It is very well thought out and it is a wonderful vehicle to showcase the bravura of the pianist. And, if were championed by pianists of the caliber of Janina Fialkowska, I am certain that audiences would love it. It is a delightful work that deserves to be heard more often, as does the Fantasie Polonaise.Paderewski was a great man. He was a marvelous pianist, an excellent composer, and a great statesman (he was Prime Minister of Poland after World War I)."